I Will Remember You: Reflecting on Those Who have Passed

If I can be completely honest with you, I’m not quite sure how to really begin this post. A part of me feels that I could begin it in such a way that is typical of me, featuring a quick check-in, a rundown of my breakfast and then a lighthearted “musing,” so to speak. However, today, I felt this “typical” format was inappropriate, for lack of a better word. I wasn’t even quite sure if I was going to write a post like this today, but the people I’ve been thinking of who I will structure this post around, have not left my mind, so therefore, I only find it fitting that I dedicate today’s post to them.

About two days ago, I started seeing Sean Lowe, one of the former stars of ABC’s reality show, “The Bachelor,” tweet that he was keeping a woman, Gia and her family deep in his thoughts. I wasn’t quite sure who Gia was or what he meant by this, but thought perhaps it was a close friend or family member. Hours later, I started seeing more and more tweets and articles written about Gia, a former “Bachelorette” on a season of “The Bachelor,” and also a contestant on “The Bachelor Pad.” Apparently, she was hospitalized and fighting for her life. Upon hearing this, I assumed perhaps she was ill for awhile, or was suddenly battling an illness. This presumption was not entirely false, however, I later discovered she had passed away yesterday, as a result of suicide.

It wasn’t immediately disclosed how she passed away, though articles started she had died as a result of brain damage and organ failure. My mind immediately flashed to how I believed she carried out her attempt and eventually, was confirmed to be true. Though I didn’t know her or really remember her on the television show, my heart broke not only for her family, but for her. To know someone was in that extent of physical, emotional and mental pain is enough to break me down. The entire day, today, I reflected on her and what she must have been harboring deep within her. I wondered if her family and friends knew the extent of how she was feeling, or if she buried those feelings and thoughts deep within her, until it became too much to bear and ultimately resulted in her tragic passing.

Sometimes acts can be impulsive or they can be premeditated to a T. Upon hearing of Gia’s passing and her attempt, I thought back to my high school years, where numerous of my classmates passed away from suicide. Several of these late classmates were actually in my classes and I had spoken with them on several occasions. Two of the girls in particular were of the type that left the entire community and school in a state of shock. Never did they believe they would have taken themselves in this tragic way. They were not as so many people conceive, as a “typical, depressed teen,” who was outwardly suicidal. So often, people are quick to judge or label someone simply because they may choose to dress in black, or “gothic,” or are moody. Often, those who are suicidal can be silent, they can hide behind a mask, or a facade. They can play on sports teams, have many friend, be labeled as “popular,” dress fashionably and wear a smile, each day. In the case of my two former female classmates, this was the case. My heart broke for them all those years ago, as it does now, when I reflect upon them. Though I didn’t talk much to either of them, both were bubbly and appeared full of life.

A part of me is angry how in society, so many people feel they need to hide or shield their pain. Perhaps they feel they “shouldn’t,” feel this way, or that they may have no reason to feel this way because they are wealthy, employed, popular, etc. What I wish more people knew, is that it is OKAY, to be sad, angry, upset. More importantly, though, I wish people, no matter their age, knew it is OKAY, to ask for help, and to be vulnerable. It is okay, to brave and reach for someone’s hand, no matter how alone one may feel. Sometimes, all it takes is a listening ear, or a hand, to help soothe the hurt that might lurk inside. Or maybe it takes more. All the same, I just wanted to take this moment and now, having a forum as a blog to express it, and say, it is okay to be you. It is okay to answer someone when they ask if you are okay, “No, I’m not.” If you are in pain and are struggling, please step forward and verbalize it, whether it is to someone, your journal, your blog.

While life gives us many things each day to smile about, I personally believe it is more than acceptable to allow oneself to FEEL whatever it is they are feeling at a particular moment and to be okay with it. Just because to others it might look like you “have it all,” it never means it isn’t okay to feel however you feel, or ask for help. Depression and mental illness, in my opinion, has no face and by that, I mean, it doesn’t matter if you are 15, 30, 80, overweight, thin, financially well-off, or not, it can affect anyone, or capture anyone in a storm of emotions, feelings and pain. It’s always okay to admit your feelings.

Lastly, if you’re ever feeling sad, alone, or even happy and simply want someone to share your happiness with, know you can always find a friend, here on my blog or if you e-mail me: Stylinstar53@gmail. It’s never easy to feel lonely and afraid and it can be hard to be proud of who you are, but for what it’s worth, to you, whoever is reading this right now: I’m glad you’re here – keep holding on.

*Take the time today to reach out to someone, maybe that someone is yourself, or maybe it isn’t, but either way, take the time to listen, really listen, and hear what you or others are saying. Know that it is okay, to be you and that you are worth it and deserving of love from others and from yourself.

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